Plumbing. Unvented hot water cylinder - service and install?

Yes we can....

Unvented cylinders

Can a local Caversham plumber help with an unvented hot water cylinder? Yes we can....

If your hot water cylinder looks like this you have an unvented hot water cylinder. 

Common manufacturers our local plumbers see regularly whilst plumbing in Caversham Henley & Reading include Heatrae Sadia (Megaflow), Joule, Telford, Gledhill, Viessmann and Vaillant.

They come as standard in the majority of new builds as they’re economical and provide mains pressure hot water. And as they don’t need a loft based feed and expansion tank – can free up space for more living area or a conversion in older properties.

Importantly, unvented hot water plumbing systems have a range of safety devices which prevent the cylinder from exploding. Yes, EXPLODING! 

Plumbing protection #1. When hot water is in a sealed environment the water has to be able to expand. This takes place in the expansion vessel. If the expansion vessel fails, its pressure relief valve should automatically open and let the hot water out and cold water in. This will reduce the cylinder’s pressure. 

Plumbing protection #2. If fault occur with either your heating controls or boiler which would cause your hot water to remain on, or the hot water’s temperature to rise to an unsafe level, the temperature and pressure relief valve should automatically open. 

If an unvented hot water cylinder didn’t have these and other functional safety devices and be in a good working condition, then what occurred in the photos may well happen. 

Apart from the flood of boiling hot water, front and back windows were blown out, an entire internal wall was lost, joists were broken, the ceiling came down and the roof rippled and was left with large hole. Fortunately, the occupants were in another part of the house and weren’t harmed.

Because of these dangers, the installation and servicing of unvented cylinder's is regulated by the government.

As a result, all cylinders must be installed and regularly serviced – only by a licensed installer/plumber or competent person with a current ‘Domestic Hot Water Storage Systems’ or ‘Hot Water Systems & Safety’ qualification. These comply with Approved Document G3 of the Building Regulations.

When installed unvented cylinders must have a plumber completed and signed data sheet placed on them. The cylinder must also be registered with the Local Authority Building Control – Reading Building Control as the cylinder operates under extreme pressure which is potentially dangerous. Your plumber can do this for you.

As a peace of mind, manufacturer warranties on unvented cylinders are long and typically for 20-25 years. Their validity requires an annual cylinder service. If this doesn’t take place, you risk your home insurer refusing to pay out on your home and contents insurance if the cylinder goes wrong, leaks or worse.

A major failure is rare, but above shows what can happen when an unvented hot water cylinder explodes – major damage.

Unvented hot water cylinders and tundish

An unvented hot water cylinder needs servicing when?

A regular sign that an unvented hot water cylinder needs servicing urgently is a dripping or wet tundish (see picture). Another is a reduced hot water flow from your taps or shower. If you experience either or a combination of these get in touch immediately.

Make sure your service engineer / local plumber is qualified to work on your unvented hot water system and that you see their licence. 

Our Caversham local plumbers are G3 qualified and fit and service all types of unvented and vented hot water cylinders. 

Regular servicing will help to protect you from water leaks, weeps and drips damaging your floors, ceilings and walls – which can be very expensive to rectify, and extremely messy and inconvenient!

If you notice a drip or flow of water from your unvented cylinder’s warning system (its black tundish) this shows that there is something wrong with the cylinder. Please have it serviced as a priority.

Regular Caversham Henley & Reading plumbing work includes – servicing and maintaining all types of unvented hot water cylinders including Heatrae Sadia (Megaflow), Joule, Telford, Gledhill, Viessmann and Vaillant), updating and replacing expansion relief valves, recharging expansion vessels, updating and replacing temperature and pressure relief valves, cleaning and replacing strainers (which can improve your water pressure).

An unvented cylinder service costs £120 (inc VAT) and can be booked on-line for a date and time that suits you on our BookNow page.

Air source heat pump

Plumbing. Service and install a heat pump?

Yes we can....

Can a local Caversham plumber install and service a heat pump? Yes we can....

With grants of up to £7,500, heat pumps are more affordable than ever.

They’re also more environmentally friendly than fossil fuelled gas boilers. And with a suitably insulated home, heat pumps – air source, ground source and water source can save you money and are the future of UK home heating.

Unlike oil and gas boilers, these pumps operate at lower temperatures and if correctly installed can deliver three or more times the energy than they use.

Should heat pumps be serviced regularly?

Yes. Regardless, if you have a water, ground or air source heat pump, having it serviced at least annually will keep it working efficiently and according to manufacturers lasting for 20 years plus. It will also ensure that it’s kept in warrantee so that if there’s a parts failure the manufacturer can be expected to pick-up the cost.

What’s included in a service?

During a service, our AngusPLUMBING MCS qualified engineers will check the efficiency and performance of your heat pump. This will ensure it’s working correctly and providing your home with the desired level of comfort. The service includes:

• Full visual inspection
• System check (visual and diagnostic)
• Pipework pressure testing
• Leak testing
• Temperature check
• Electrical circuits testing
• Pump cleaning

We’ll also confirm whether your system set up is the best possible for your home and what you can do to improve the heat pump’s efficiency and save money on your heating bill.

Heat pump service costs vary depending on the system. But start from £300 including VAT. This includes all the labour cost, but if replacement parts are needed, additional charges may apply.

You’ll shortly be able to book a heat pump service on-line on our BookNow page for a date and time that suits you. In the meantime please get in touch by email or call, text or WhatsApp us on 07442966664.

Plumbing. Fix blocked and slow draining sinks, basins and baths?

Yes we can....

Blocked pipes

Can a local Caversham plumber fix blocked and slow draining sinks, basins, baths and showers? Yes we can....

Lower Caversham customer’s plumbing problem – slow draining sink overflowing when the dishwasher emptied its water. 

The customer had tried using a number of heavy duty drain-unblockers as well as power-shots and a spinning drain auger to free the plumbing blockage – unsuccessfully. 

Plumber’s work included cutting out two meters of blocked pipe, replacing pipework and putting in an access point so that any future blockages can be easily cleared by the customer themselves.

With the Thames Valley’s hard water, kitchens and bathrooms – baths, sinks and toilets are most affected by water stains and the build of limescale (calcium carbonate) and other mineral deposits. Limescale is also regularly found in hot water pipes, hot water cylinders and hot water heaters. If not taken care of quickly, limescale hardens and its build up can cause expensive problems including pipe blockage – leading to overflows and internal flooding, stuck taps, hot water cylinder failure, boiler failure, blocked radiators, heating pump seizure as well as washing machine and dishwasher breakage. 

The build up of limescale in hot water pipe dead-legs also encourages the growth of algae and bacteria potentially causing diseases such as Legionnaires and E. Coli.

Removing limescale following a serious build-up is often expensive and causes considerable and unnecessary disruption.

Prevention is the key. Plumbing options include water softeners as well as limescale reduction devices such as magnetic scale inhibitors, electrolytic scale inhibitors, electronic (electromagnetic) inhibitors and electrochemical inhibitors. Please get in touch if you’d like to discuss any of these plumbing solutions. Our local plumbers will save you money, keep you safe and prevent needless disruption.

Regular Caversham Henley & Reading plumbing work includes – unblocking and replacing pipes, unblocking bath drains, sink drains, basin drains and shower drains as well as fitting water softeners and inhibitors/limescale reduction devices. 

Leaking toilet being fixed by a local Caversham AngusPLUMBING plumber

Plumbing. Unblock clogged toilets and fix leaking WCs?

Yes we can....

Can a local Caversham plumber unblock or fix your leaking WC? Yes we can....

Caversham Heights customer’s problem – each time the downstairs WC toilet flushed its contents flooded out behind a concealed panel. We went on to find that the WC waste-pipe had been eaten through by rats.

Plumber’s work included removing the back panel, moving the toilet pan for access, replacing the failed flexi-pipe and reinstalling the toilet. We also found where the rats were entering and blocked this off.

Regular Caversham Henley & Reading plumbing work includes – unblocking toilets and bidets, clearing and resetting toilet and other traps and unblocking waste pipes. Our plumbers also fix leaking toilet cisterns and replace sealing washers between cisterns and pans, fix/replace siphons as well as float valves to stop permanent running water. Handle flushes, button flushes and eco-flush/double-flush mechanisms are also fixed and replaced by our local plumbers.

Plumbing. Stop your taps from dripping? And fit baths, sinks, basins and toilets?

Yes we can....

Toilet taps and bath

Can a local Caversham plumber stop your taps from dripping? And fit baths, sinks, basins and toilets? Yes we can....

A dripping tap can lose you as much as 20 litres of water a day. That’s over 7,000 a year, and if you’ve two or three – this could be over 20,000 litres! A lot of water – literally going down the drain.

For normal taps, replacing the washer along with sometimes reseating or repacking the tap will do the trick. 

With quarter-turn/ceramic disc taps, it’s a little more complicated – with the ceramic cartridge needing to be changed. In some cases, particularly non-WRAS Approved taps a replacement may not be available. 

If there’s corrosion to deal with as well, it may not be possible to get the cartridge out, and a new tap will be needed.

Caversham – Emmer Green customer’s problem – kitchen tap replacement and two dripping taps to repair.

Plumber’s work included turning off the water, replacing the sink tap with a mono-block mixer tap, re-washering the washroom sink cold tap and reseating it due to limescale build-up and repacking the garden tap’s gland.

Regular Caversham Henley & Reading plumbing work includes – fitting baths, basins, toilets/WCs and bidets. Fixing bath taps, basin taps, sink taps, outdoor taps, bib taps, ceramic taps, spindle taps, pillar taps, bi-flow mixer taps and true mixer taps. Re-washering, re-seating and re-packing taps. Replacing Full-way gate valves and ball valves. Our local plumbers also replace seized stopcocks etc.

Smart heating devices

Plumbing. Save you money. Install smart thermostats and radiator valves as well as smart immersion heaters and replace old ones?

Yes we can....

Can a local Caversham plumber install smart thermostats and radiator valves as well as smart immersion heaters and replace old ones? Yes we can....

Water and energy bills are at an all time high. Coupled with the rocketing cost of living many homeowners are making savings wherever they can.

Smart thermostats give control of your house temperature via an Google or Apple ap, or voice control – Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa and Apple Home Kit (Siri) etc.

They replace your existing thermostat and can be connected via the same wires or wirelessly to your boiler. A saving of up to 30 percent can be expected. For ultimate flexibility and the option to control each of your radiators individually Smart thermostatic radiator valves (STMVs) enable you to control each radiator separately in the same way (ap or voice assistant). In essence giving you a fully zoned house and complete control over your heating bills.

For instant hot water, a plumber fitted smart immersion heater (can be installed in (un)vented cylinders, thermal stores and heat pumps) controlled from your phone, tablet or computer will give you the hot water you want when you need it. This will save you money. And being in full and constant control of your hot water will help you to protect your house and plumbing from frost, and your family from bacterium including legionella.

Wasting money through heating your house and hot-water cylinder day and night is a thing of the past. 

Our Caversham local plumbers regularly install Tado smart thermostats and smart thermostatic radiator valves.

Regular Caversham Henley & Reading plumbing work includes – fitting smart wired and wireless thermostats, smart thermostatic radiator valves and smart immersion heaters.

Plumbing. Fix radiators that aren’t heating up properly, fully cold radiators and cold radiator spots?

Yes we can....

Radiators and heating

Regular local plumbing work in Caversham Henley & Reading includes – power flushing to fully clean heating systems, fixing radiator leaks, bleeding radiators to remove trapped air and hydrogen so that the radiators heat up properly, freeing up and or replacing stuck thermostatic valve pins, replacing failed thermostatic valves, full radiator drain down and radiator loop rebalancing, and introduction of inhibitor to prevent corrosion.

Our plumbers can also update your radiators and fit systems of smart radiator thermostats so that you can heat each radiator and room separately and exactly as you want. 

And if you’d like other plumbing work such as underfloor heating to replace your radiators and to have an ap or voice assistant controlled radiator free heating zones? Yes, our local plumbers can.

Frozen tap

Plumbing. Fix burst pipes and frozen taps?

Yes we can...

With recent years anything to go by, more icy winters are on their way – bringing trouble for home pipes and taps.

These can freeze in as little as six hours – so in just one night!

When water freezes, it expands and if it’s nowhere to go, it’ll push against the sides of your pipes and potentially cause them to crack and burst.

You may know straight away. But you might not. And when the ice melts, you may find water leaking or worse pouring from the cracks and damaging your home.

Unfortunately, a leaking or burst pipe may not be as obvious as a floor or kitchen full of water. It could be that you’ve a small or slow leak that left to its own devices, may cause just as much damage to your electrics and home. Signs to look out for range from reduced water pressure and flow to damp patches and the more obvious bulging walls and ceilings.

If you do suspect that you have a frozen tap or pipe, dealing with it straight away will hopefully avoid or at least minimise any damage or disruption.

And if you do, turn off the water supply straight away and make your electrics safe.

If you need help thawing the pipe or tap a qualified plumber can help.

But if the pipe’s already burst, call your home insurance company – most have a 24-hour emergency helpline. Make sure that you take photos of any damage also find the receipts etc to speed up replacements.

Next get in touch with a reliable local plumber to carry out repairs. And of course, make sure that they give you a fixed quote and don’t charge you a call-out fee!

Plumbing. Cold and hot water tank cleaning and replacement?

Yes we can....

Cold and hot water loft tanks

Can a local Caversham plumber clean, fix and replace cold and hot water tanks? Yes we can....

Hot and cold tanks should be cleaned regularly to get rid of any rust, scale and sludge sediment as well as insects, rodents and other things that may have fallen inside and can lead to dangerous bacterial growth. 

Ensuring that you and your family are all healthy – that you can go to work and your kids to school is a priority.

Cold tanks are always a concern. This is because with the right conditions, they’re a perfect breeding ground for bacterium that may lead to an outbreak of e-coli, salmonella, campylobacter, legionella or even hepatitis. To prevent this, the tank should be kept cool in hot weather – insulation will help and be renewed regularly, and of course foreign body free.

A regular clean out of your hot water (feed and expansion) tank by one of our Caversham local plumbers is important. This will help to keep your central heating running smoothly and avoid the cost and disruption of fixing blocked radiators and broken pumps. If needed we can also repaint tank insides or replace and upgrade them. 

How long do tanks last? Plastic/polymer tanks should be replaced every 10 to 15 years as their protective internal lining will have worn out. A steel tank will last longer, between 20 and 30 years. But as they’re much heavier when you do come to replace them you’ll need to be careful where they’re put and additional loft reinforcement may be helpful.

Regular plumbing work in Caversham Henley & Reading includes – cold water and feed and expansion tank cleaning and disinfecting, repainting as well as replacement.

Dripping warning overflow pipe

Plumbing. Fix your overflow?

Yes we can....

Can a local Caversham plumber and fix your warning pipe/overflow? Yes we can....

Overflow pipes (warning pipes) are an essential part of your home’s plumbing system and lead from your cold water storage and hot water feed and expansion tanks and toilet cistern to the outside.

If a basin or bath or kitchen sink overflow pipe is leaking, you won’t see this outside as these pipes lead directly down the drain.

Where you see an outside drip or overflow, the likely cause is an overflowing toilet cistern, or a cold water or hot water feed and expansion tank float valve problem. Or, it could be that your copper cylinder’s faulty (it’s connected to these tanks), or your boiler overflow pipe’s dripping due to a faulty combination boiler.

Unless you or one of our Caversham local plumbers deal with this quickly you risk a permanent stain and damaging your outside wall. Also, it’s likely that the pipework and fittings connected to the overflow/warning pipe haven’t been leak tested recently or in some cases at all. So, there may be water building up inside your home without you knowing and already causing or on the way to expensive internal damage that’ll need to be fixed. 

Does an overflow stain reduce your property’s value? Well, when you come to sell it, the buyer’s surveyor is more likely to look for further plumbing problems. Whether or not anything is found – a cosmetic defect will reduce the price you get and may also delay the sale leading to you missing out on your next ideal home. 

If you have an overflow, we’ll find out exactly what’s causing it, let you know what this is and agree the best way to take care of it. Quickly.

Regular Caversham Henley & Reading plumber work includes – diagnosing and fixing external overflow (warning pipe) problems caused by overflowing toilet cisterns, cold water and hot water feed and expansion tank float valve problem, faulty copper cylinders and faulty combination boilers. 

Plumbing. Bathroom and kitchen silicone replacement?

Yes we can....

Silicone in kitchen and bathroom

Can a local Caversham plumber replace bathroom and kitchen silicone? Yes we can....

No more unsightly impossible to remove mildew and mould stains (for when scrubbing with vinegar or abrasive cleaning products won’t work) or importantly leaks when you have one of our Caversham local plumbers working in Caversham Henley & Reading replace or renew your kitchen, bathroom or utility room silicone sealant!

Regular plumbing work includes – replacing bathroom, shower room, en-suit, kitchen and utility room silicone sealant.

Low level guttering

Plumbing. Fix low level guttering?

Yes we can....

Can a local Caversham plumber clear out, unblock and fix gutters? Yes we can....

Gutters do one thing – channel water away from a building’s foundation. They’re an essential part of weather-proofing your home and protecting its structure. And for gutters to do their job properly they have to be kept in good shape and free of clogs, holes, and sags.

It’s a condition of most home insurance policies that you keep on top of your home maintenance and make sure everything is in good working order to prevent damage to your home. This includes checking that your gutters and downpipes are working properly, are clear and free from blockages, and aren’t rusted or broken. 

Insurance policies cover damage to your home due to unforeseen events – such as storms or floods but not for events that could have been prevented if you’d kept your home well maintained and repaired.

Blocked, overflowing guttering can cause water damage, and even structural damage to your home.

Your insurer won’t cover this damage if they feel it was caused by a lack of maintenance on your part.


If your guttering has been neglected, damaged by wear and tear, or your gutters have become blocked and can’t do their job properly an insurer will reject your claim for any water damage.

Our Caversham local plumbers will check your guttering for you and fix leaks and holes, sagging gutters and gutters pulling away from the house and also clear clogged gutters. So that if you do need to make an insurance claim, you’re gutters won’t let you down!

Regular plumbing work in Caversham Henley & Reading includes – guttering checks, fixing gutter leaks and gutter holes, fixing sagging gutters, clearing clogged gutters and securing and re-attaching gutters pulling away from houses garages and other low level buildings.

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